Sand on the Slippery Sidewalks of Sales
0682 PA8498 Sand on the Slippery Sidewalks of Sales 16 silent pix
Audio/Visual silent, B&W
January 10, 2013
Why Some People Kept Their Ice Boxes
Unintentionally funny silent film from the
1920s presumably made for Frigidaire dealers.
Poor Mrs. Newberry's luncheon is ruined when her new Frigidaire goes on the fritz and she can't freeze the sherbet she planned on serving for dessert. She calls her husband to complain and he calls the Frigidaire dealer. Apparently wives couldn't be trusted to make a call like that themselves, it being a business matter and all.
Anyway, the repair man shows up---the next day. He
couldn't bothered when the call came in since he was busy repairing an iron, and obviously the repair of a $10 iron is more important than repairing a fridge costing hundreds. Finally showing up, he spits out his tobacco chew on the front steps, then drops his cigarette butt in the basement. He also tracks mud all over the house and leaves greasy finger and palm prints all over the fridge---and fails to fix it. A complaint letter to the factory causes Frigidaire to send
a competent repairman, who doesn't chew, throws his cigarette in the street, wipes his shoes on the mat, doesn't leave marks on the fridge---and actually knows how to fix it! Woo hoo!! The problem, it seems, was that the dealer's repairman was factory-trained! So, rather than being fired, he's sent to a factory school to learn how to do his job, wipe his feet and wash his hands. Gee, why didn't the dealer think of that??!! And why did Frigidaire sign up a dealer
who didn't have factory-trained repair people?
Interesting that refrigerators back then came with instruction manuals and the compressor motors
were so big they were in the basement, connected to the fridge by hoses. A period piece from the
dawn of the service economy!
April 7, 2009
Odd bit of sales lore from the vault. Folks sure acted differently back then.
Strangely, at around 7:14-7:15 one frame has the word "reverse" written in reverse across the screen like it was scratched onto the film.
And Sputz, the maid's frontage was evidently taken into consideration when she was hired by Mrs Newbyer with Mr Newbyer in mind.
March 3, 2008
Early twenth century film about training good servcemen for the early Frigidares. I found it entertaining watching the styles and behavior of that time. The refrigerator certainly was bulky and cumbersome then.
July 30, 2004
The Sherbet's melting!!!!
A real curio here which I suppose wasnt meant to be viewed except for Frigidaire service employees. I can imagine Mr And Mrs Joe Public (more on them later) being outraged at some of the situations shown in this film.
Mr and Mrs. Newbyer (get it? NEW-BUYER?) have just bought a new Frigidaire. Mr Newbyer tells Mr. Prospect (get it? PROSPECT?) of all the wonderful things the Frigidaire can do, like produce "real desserts" (as opposed to what, the film doesnt get around to explaining) This is an interesting scene in itself because it appears the two actors are wearing 10 pounds of cake makeup. Anyways, Mrs Newbyer calls from home, and says! Horrors! Her Frigidaire fridge isn't working! She can't make Sherbet! The husband agrees to call the Frigidaire repair center. Meanwhile, the Mrs' social gathering is just RUINED by the lack of Sherbet. When the repairman comes over, (a Mr. Doesnt-know (!)) he makes a big mess of things, fingerprints all over, mud tracks, and worse of all, does a poor job of repairing the fridge! The next day, Hubby gets mad because he has sour cream in his coffee!! Hubby then writes a letter to the Frigidaire company. The Frigidaire guy who gets the letter acts like this type of thing happens all the time. He sends out one of his flunkies to calm Mrs. Newbyer down and refix the fridge. Soon, The Newbyers and Prospects are happy. And Mr Doesn't-Know doesnt get fired!! He gets sent to "Factory Service School" which is I guess Detention Hall for bad Frigidaire repairmen.
Finally, I end this review by giving bonus points to what looks to be the homliest female ever featured in a euphemeral film. The Newbyers maid is probably the ugliest thing (Are you SURE she's a she?) I've ever seen.
Although not quite as loopy as "The Home Electrical" this film DOES have it's moments and is a MUST SEE on this site!!
May 18, 2003
A precious artifact
Five stars for historical significance. While this item is far from entertaining to today's audiences, the film is a business student's treasure.
B-school students are taught that there have been three fundamental orientations in the practice of marketing - in chronological order: selling, production and consumer.
This gem is from the earliest days of the era of selling, made famous by Henry Ford's "You can have any color you like, as long as it's black." Here the pitchman, the power that drove this early engine of commerce, is reassured that the company will stand behind his promises. Spreading "sand (and improving traction) on the slippery sidewalks of sales" is a great example of the efforts in field sales force support at the time.
Immortalized in many subsequent humorous and tragic characters, from Daffy Duck to Willy Loman, the salesperson was made less dominant by the production orientation. The Reynolds Aluminum films, found elsewhere in the archive, are splendid examples of the production era and a must see for any serious marketing history buff.